HAT WILL ROBABLY HA S THAT SOME
USTOMERS ILL COME B ANTING TO NLINE ALSO
“ They learned about online , played it , and now , while they want to come back to you , if you don ’ t have an igaming offering , you can ’ t stay in touch with your customers ,” he adds . “ So you need that online presence , to ensure those new customers can still play with you .”
It ’ s not an alien concept to ECA members , he ’ s quick to point out . Around 63 % of operators in the association have an online presence . “ Things are rapidly changing and that ’ s a good thing in my view .”
As younger demographics come of age , having grown up in a digital world , activity in all channels will only help convergence . Even if there ’ s more of a shift online , this simply alters the revenue balance rather than cannibalises it .
Goudsmit argues that the whole concept of one channel cannibalising another is a bit of a misnomer . The only concern for operators should be offshore competition – and regulation helps channel the bulk of activity onshore .
“ It ’ s only when you have illegal offers coming into your market , offering services to those who would otherwise be your customers and operate in a manner you can ’ t and won ’ t as a licensed operator , that there is genuine cannibalisation ,” he says .
Ultimately , Goudsmit remains confident in the industry ’ s future , despite the near-term uncertainty . He believes that as properties reopen and vaccination rollouts continue , there ’ s reason for hope .
“ The spirit is there ,” he says . “ Everyone wants to move on , not only the operators but also the guests ; they ’ re waiting to come back and enjoy themselves .
“ In that respect I ’ m confident . Hopefully once this terrible pandemic goes away and stays away , I have all the confidence for the future for our industry .”